Story Squad expands outreach with help of grant from James Patterson and Scholastic Reading Club

March 9, 2016

Story Squad, a literacy outreach program directed by UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Associate Professor Brian Sturm, and Estes Hills Elementary School in Chapel Hill have received a $5,000 grant from bestselling author James Patterson.

A portion of the award is enabling Story Squad to perform weekly stories for kindergarten classes at Estes Hills, expanding a previously established program for first-graders. The Estes Hills school library, helmed by SILS alumna Laura Fox (MSLS ’05), will use part of the funds to develop a world folktale collection targeted at younger students. The Scholastic Reading Club is matching the Patterson grant with “bonus points” that Fox can use to acquire even more books.

The Story Squad and Estes Hills relationship was recently profiled in a story and video featured on

The Patterson grant and Scholastic Reading Club match is part of an ongoing effort to keep books and reading a number one priority in the United States. In 2015 alone, Patterson personally donated $1.75 million to school libraries nationwide. The Story Squad and Estes Hills funding request was one of just 467 selected from the 27,924 applications received. The full list of grant recipients is available online at  

“These grants are my humble acknowledgement of some of the terrific work taking place in libraries,” says Patterson. “Here’s to communities supporting school libraries.  Here’s to a country that makes reading a priority.”